week 6 biotechnology by matt kramer

This week’s focus on the controversial topic of biotechnology was very interesting and complex.  The debate over its ethical standing has become more and more prevalent as technology continues to develop.  Biotechnology has implications in many areas including in vitro fertilization, cloning and genetically modified foods as well as many others.  In discussing and thinking about the ethics behind biotechnology and its advantages and disadvantages, I found it very hard to form a concrete opinion on the subject.  I believe that in cases where biotechnology can help save lives and help to better understand the complexities behind genetics and disease, like stem cell research, it should be encouraged. 


On the issue of cloning, while I think it is somewhat unnecessary, it still does not seem bothersome or unethical.  Human cloning is definitely something to be more seriously considered because it is something unnatural that would affect all people.  Things that are leading active lives like humans and animals have more of a direct impact on society and to clone them is considered by many to be unethical.  It is even argued that cloning alters the destiny and natural course of evolution.  But then so would all technological advancements be considered anti-evolution, when in fact they are the cause of human intellect and discovery evolving.  Cloning humans and animals is a very controversial subject that needs more than a week long focus or a couple hundred word blog to be more completely explored. 


Another big part of biotechnology is genetically modified food.  Food that can be altered to be more healthy and beneficial to its eaters is definitely a positive aspect of biotechnology.  Cross-breeding plants so as to make it better for its consumers is something that should be allowed.  This is most definitely ethical and beneficial in my opinion because it can help all people from all walks of life.  With the global economy in serious trouble, and food shortages occurring all over the world, genetically modified food can be one helpful solution.  Still, scientists continue to point out that genetically modifying food can have unforeseen negative consequences on the environment and ecosystem. Just as it took a bit of time for people to realize the dangers of smoking and the possibility of global warming, it will take time before we can identify and predict all of its effects on the environment.


Nonetheless, with global food shortages being a real threat to humanity, genetically modifying food presents itself as a possible savior for billions of people.  It should be heavily researched so that it can be utilized in the safest and best possible manner. 


The topic of biotechnology this week was fascinating.  I wish we had more time to discuss it because it is certainly going to be very relative in the near future.  I think its ethical standing should continue to be subject to debate because it is something fairly new and controversial for many good reasons.    

-Matt Kramer

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